‘Love in Nepal’ mixed media drawing by Amaya Engleking
There’s little that’s less inspiring than school, the place with all the solutions.
Still, street henna artist Sweety asked for nothing more than some milk for baby Pari and to send her four kids to school.
I couldn’t reply for weeks, at odds with institutionalized education and the corresponding state of the world,
its bony-limbed beggars
its middle caste class action mobsters
bursting the belt buckle.
Water and well-anointed oil do not mix;
they never share a meal. Read More
Painting by Megan Triantafillou
Mass with mastitis
mother by marriage says we’ll go to see Mother Mary but I know you know better
drinking in the sacrament of breath…
…Symposium of spirits concentrate there,
a kiss to sustain the learning world when by day and night
only to meet the gathered light and song and with new refrain go right back IN
TO bodies as
shining epistles altering helices and species Read More
Photography by Justin Dodson
When we sat on the chalk cliffs overlooking the Timberron basin and lightning in the indigo sky, it started to rain hard, though far from camp with one poncho between us. It threatened to wash away our ground but somehow, Read More
‘Metamorphosis of Narcissus‘ by Salvador Dali
What’s maddening about waiting is that it takes you further away from that for which you are waiting, and when you get too far, Read More
In a dream a friend carried his baby on his back and pointed a DP-12 shotgun at me, I didn’t laugh enough at one of his jokes or because that’s just what is done in these days of deconstruction.
Conflict resolution doesn’t mean what it used to.
Right to bear arms doesn’t mean what it used to.
Friendship doesn’t mean what it used to. Read More
The Medjugorje visionary saw Mary, Mother of God hovering above the couple’s marital bed years ago, on which we now all solemnly, humorlessly — the Catholic way — procession in and toss rose petals, strategically set as the climax of this strange retreat, hosted by the couple.
“And now, without further ado…”
Blessed be this holy site! Heal me from what ails me!
…In a nauseous wave I’m moved to clear the air and run out of the incensed house, myrrh potpourri and Advent boughs, perfected confectioneries and stained glass donation jars, into a southern December dusk where woods laugh but take my offering: Read More
Full of blood,
bubbling, full of life.
Face aglow, I am awed
by the blood vessels
flowing into womb,
thickened veins and
umbilical pulse. I can
feel their swollen contours
as they inflect upwards beneath
the skin. Bulbous breasts plump with
sweet amber, ~~ dripping like blackstrap
molasses. ~~ Soon the ambrosia will pour
forth as the new baby feeds, feeding the
flowering plants, tuberose and jasmine,
clematis and columbine, blossoming
blackberry brambles; ~~ this milky
blancmange enriching the fertile
soil of spring. ~~ Efflorescence Read More
Painting by Elena Katsyura
What did you learn in school today, the bored mom asked her teenage son at the dinner table
not looking up from her phone
not noticing quiet tears falling on shuffled peas.
How to multiply polynomials, conjugate in the subjunctive, how violently sudden the last gasp of air comes to the bullet-holed classmate, how it feels to be expendable, grieving, and let down all at once. That was never on the syllabus or the glossy website. Forget being fruitful and multiplying when we don’t even know what X is. Forget wishing and hoping when we shed (others’) blood for the correct version of hypothetical. We are willing to (let someone else) die for what we are (not) willing to sacrifice. Don’t ever tell me to be bold again if this is what it looks like. Read More
I stepped outside onto the back porch to let the dog out first thing and a rush of vitality filled me as the cedar smoke of our neighbors’ chimney and the cold wet in the air stung my bare face. The mountains to the south were already enshrouded in heavy cloud and a few snow flurries met the wafts of smoke-drift. Winter! I need it. What a revival from the malaise of warm, dry January, sickly like overripe fruit in a moist and sealed container. Defying the seasons and the natural order of life cycles like the technological revolution. Read More